Vegas Flights

March 29th, 2010 at 04:40pm Under Uncategorized

With the recent launch of the direct British Airways service to Las Vegas, Virgin Atlantic finally has some competition on the direct to Las Vegas route.  As a regular visitor to Las Vegas, I do occasionally see amazing deals from London to Las Vegas via one of the large USA hubs, but the cost difference has never tempted me.  However, if you are planning a multi venue trip it can often make sense to fly into Los Angeles.

I’ve probably flown from Gatwick to Vegas on Virgin about 10 times.  They always used their oldest 747’s with inferior inflight entertainment – hopefully the BA competition will force them to upgrade the planes.  In spite of the plane, it’s always a great trip because you know it’s only a matter of time before you arrive in Vegas.  In fact, its the only long haul trip I look forward to.

I’m not quite sure why they run out of booze so often on this flight, is it because they travel a little ‘light’ knowing how raucous people can get, or is it because people like to arrive in vegas a little drunk?  I suspect it’s a bit of both.  But whether you are a vegas veteran or it’s your first time the general atmosphere on the plane is quite unlike any other long haul flight I’ve been on.
I’ve been on the BA flight and the flight is operated on a Boeing 777, the planes are brand new, with much improved entertainment systems.  That small difference aside, both flights get you into Las Vegas which is the main thing.

The fun starts as soon as you get off the plane.  The immigration hall is slow, obviously make sure you have the forms filled in, other than that – there is a lot of  value in making sure you are sitting near the exit’s on the plane (so if you are choosing your seats online bare this in mind).  If you are travelling upper  class or premium economy you tend to get at the front (a very valuable bonus).

Once you are through immigration you just need to collect your bags, if you are at the end of the immigration hall queue – remember that they sometimes remove bags from the luggage carousel.  I know this having sat by the carousel for about 30 minutes before looking over to see my bag had been removed from the carousel and was just sitting there, most annoying when you want to be in vegas.  Now it’s just a case of handing in your customs form and you can walk out of the terminal.  If you’ve booked a limo this is where your driver will be waiting (I’ve used presidential limo before – and thought they were great).  If you haven’t booked a limo you might be able to pick one up directly outside.  If not the taxi line is just round the corner.  Unfortunately the taxi drivers have a tendency to want to take ‘the tunnel’ – this invariably adds a few quid to the meter so better just to say ‘no tunnel’.  Remember you are now in the land of tips, so remember to add 15-20% to the taxi total to give the driver as a tip.  It’s expected, and us brits have a reputation as bad tippers, so we need to work together to get this corrected.

I’m yet to understand why or when you’d be better off taking the tunnel (I’ll ask next time).  If you are collecting a hire car the bus to the car rental center takes about 5-10mins.  TIP: Unless you are travelling away from vegas straight away, I’d avoid hiring the hire car at the airport.  The rates at the airport have some additional ‘airport car hire’ taxes – I’ve always found it cheaper to rent from one of the on strip locations.  Not to mention the fact that it’s not that much fun to jump straight into a car for the short drive to the hotel.

However you make it to your vegas hotel LINK , congratulations you’re now in Vegas.

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